A group, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, has appealed to the Federal Government to do away with import tariffs and Value Added Tax on renewable energy products.
ERA explained that Nigeria could blaze the trail in renewable energy if government could invest in it (renewable energy) and boost power supply in the country.
Speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Thursday, the Programme Manager of the group, Mike Karikpo, observed that more than 70 per cent of countries in Africa were without renewable energy.
Maintaining that the new form energy in developed countries was environment friendly, Karikpo added that a zero tax policy on renewable energy products and components would address the challenges of regular power supply in Nigeria.
He commended the Federal Government for approving a zero import duty for machinery and equipment used in the power sector.
Karikpo said, “We call on the Federal Government to immediately implement a zero Value Added Tax policy on all renewable energy products and components to accelerate growth of the renewable energy sector.
“We acknowledge the fact that the Federal Government had approved a zero import duty for machinery and equipment used in the power sector, especially those locally produced.
“We also welcome the reduction in tariffs on items like automatic circuit breakers, switches, lamp-holders, and electrical apparatus for switching or protection of electricity circuit from 20 per cent to 10 per cent.
“We, however, call on the government to ensure zero VAT on products like batteries, charge controllers, inverters and the implementation of the approved low tariffs on other renewable components.
“This will promote in-country assembly and production of renewable energy in Nigeria and will boost job creation for prospective investors in the sector.”
The ERA/FoEN project manager pointed out that the resources to manage renewable energy were available, but stated that the policies were not encouraging.